Last Friday I went to a restaurant that has been on my list for quite a while. Why haven’t I gone there before? Maybe because the restaurant is located in a district I don’t often go to or pass through that much? I’m talking about restaurant Bar(‘t) a vin, located in the heart of the abattoir district also called “Den Dam”. When I was younger I used to come here pretty often with my dad to buy meat for his restaurant. People who know this district will agree that it is not the most attractive neighborhood, although I must say that the last few years the government (city) has done its best to make this a sparkling part of Antwerp again. When arriving here I was actually surprised about the amount of restaurants!! But for me the true pearl of this district is without any doubt restaurant “Bar(t) a vin”. When entering this restaurant, you immediately get stunned by the ‘honest’ interior with . original tiles on the wall from the time this place was a pig abattoir.
The fact that the kitchen is incorporated in the restaurant and being able to see chef Tom Van der Borght doing his thing, shows that this restaurant has nothing to hide. Bart Adriaenssens, the owner of the restaurant, is the maître and helps you to make your evening a true experience.
Food time J We first started off by having a glass of Portuguese sparkling wine (that I don’t remember having seen before). The restaurant has no real menu card and wine list. For the food they have a little blackboard with at the left the classic dishes that the restaurant always serves and at the right the daily suggestions. As a starter we took a mix of fine meats, cooked and grilled vegetables together with smoked mozzarella. The assortment of meat was not only your typical piece of ham, they also added freshly made ‘kop’, different kinds of salamis, etc…
As I can’t stand on one leg, I obviously also needed something to drink with that and as they don’t have a wine list, Bart tries to find together with you, the perfect matching wine (although I think he already knew what kinds of wine I liked, just by looking at me). I had an Italian red wine from Tuscany and my girlfriend had a French Shiraz kind of wine. Both wines were chosen well (fyi, the restaurant has around 200 different kinds of wine). As a main course, my girlfriend took the Steak Tartare (raw meat) that to her opinion was one of the best she has ever had (and she already had it lots of times) and I went for rays fish (rog). I know it is strange to take fish in a restaurant in the meat district, but is was Friday, so fishday…. But nevertheless, I really enjoyed it. The main course was accompanied by a nice glass of Rioja.
We finished off with a freshly made “moelleux au chocolat” and a “crème brulee” . I’m really glad that I visited this restaurant and I’m sure I will be going back (my dad and brother would just love this restaurant). And may I add that this team of 2 is really wonderful and of an unseen friendliness!! Keep up the good work guys
Basically, restaurant Bar(t) a vin is a well hidden treasure!!
Restaurant Bar(t) a vin
Lange Slagerijstraat 3-5
2060 Antwerp, Belgium
Phone n°: +32 (0)474 94 17 86